At Daimler Truck we are focused on the two technologies that really lead to a CO2-neutral future: batteries and fuel cells.
And we have dedicated plans to bring these technologies to series production.
In some areas, we also engage in strategically meaningful partnerships. Together, we can help new technologies achieve breakthroughs more quickly, reduce our own investment requirements and gain access to important know how.
Some examples on current partnerships:
Fuel-cell joint venture with Volvo Group
Together with Volvo Group, Daimler Truck AG founded the joint venture cellcentric in 2021. The joint venture will develop, produce and commercialize fuel-cell systems for use in heavy-duty trucks as the primary focus, as well as other applications. cellcentric pursues the goal of becoming a world-leading manufacturer of fuel cells and thus making a decisive contribution to climate-neutral and sustainable transport by 2050. Here, cellcentric benefits from decades of know-how and development work of both Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Group.
Daimler Truck AG and the Volvo Group hold equal shares in cellcentric. The companies will remain competitors in all other business areas such as vehicle technology or vehicle integration of fuel cells.
Daimler Truck AG and Shell plan to jointly drive the adoption of hydrogen-based fuel-cell trucks in Europe by building-out hydrogen-refuelling infrastructure and placing fuel-cell trucks in customers’ hands.
Shell intends to initially rollout a hydrogen-refuelling network joining three green hydrogen production hubs at the Port of Rotterdam, in the Netherlands as well as Cologne and Hamburg in Germany. From 2024, Shell aims to launch heavy-duty refuelling stations between the three locations and Daimler Truck aims to hand over the first heavy-duty hydrogen trucks to customers subsequently in 2025. The plan aims to continuously expand the hydrogen powered freight corridor, which will cover 1200 kilometres by 2025, in order to deliver 150 hydrogen refuelling stations and around 5,000 Mercedes-Benz heavy-duty fuel cell trucks by 2030.
Shell and Daimler Truck aim to deliver the optimal hydrogen infrastructure network by designing the network based on customer needs and usage patterns. The agreement also includes the joint aim to establish an open refuelling standard defining the interaction and interface between the truck and the refuelling station in order to realize customer friendly, cost efficient, reliable and safe hydrogen refuelling. Both companies invite other potential partners to join them in their efforts.
Daimler Truck AG and BP Advanced Mobility Limited plan to work together to help accelerate the introduction of a hydrogen network. They intend to pilot both the development of hydrogen infrastructure and the introduction of hydrogen-powered fuel-cell trucks in the UK. Under their memorandum of understanding, BP will assess the feasibility of designing, constructing, operating and supplying a network of up to 25 hydrogen refuelling stations across the UK by 2030. Daimler Truck is committed to deliver hydrogen-powered fuel-cell trucks to its UK customers from 2025.
Daimler Truck AG and TotalEnergies will collaborate in the development of ecosystems for heavy-duty trucks running on hydrogen, with the intent to demonstrate the attractiveness and effectiveness of trucking powered by clean hydrogen.
The collaboration includes hydrogen sourcing and logistics, dispensing of hydrogen in service stations, development of hydrogen-based trucks, establishment of a customer base as well as other areas. In particular, TotalEnergies has the ambition by 2030 to operate directly or indirectly up to 150 hydrogen refuelling stations in Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and France. As part of the collaboration, Daimler Truck is also to supply hydrogen-powered fuel-cell trucks to its customers in the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxemburg and France by 2025. The truck manufacturer will support its customers to ensure easy operability and highly competitive uptime.
In order to further develop these projects and establish hydrogen in road freight transport, both companies also want to investigate the possibilities of reducing the total cost of ownership of a hydrogen truck. To this end, they also want to cooperate with the authorities that regulate the relevant legal framework within the European Union. Daimler Truck and TotalEnergies are also members of the H2Accelerate consortium. The two companies are fully committed to working with the consortium to support the introduction of hydrogen-powered transport in Europe over the next decade.
Linde and Daimler Truck AG have signed an agreement to jointly develop the next generation of liquid-hydrogen refueling technology for fuel-cell-powered trucks. With their collaboration, the partners aim to make the refueling process with hydrogen as easy and practical as possible.
Together, the companies will focus on a new process for handling liquid hydrogen (“subcooled” liquid hydrogen, “sLH2 technology”). This innovative approach allows for higher storage density, greater range, faster refueling and superior energy efficiency.
The new process will use higher than ambient pressure levels and special temperature control which avoids so-called boil-off effects and “return gas” (gas from the vehicle’s tank returning to the filling station) during refueling and will not require complex data communication between the filling station and the truck during refueling.
Overall, the technology thus allows simpler filling-station concepts. The improved energy storage density is due to the higher than ambient pressure level which increases the hydrogen mass in the tank.
Linde and Daimler Truck AG are planning for a high level of transparency and openness around the relevant interfaces of the jointly developed technologies. By enabling as many other companies as possible to develop their own refueling and vehicle technologies that apply the new liquid-hydrogen standard, a global mass market is to be established for the new process.
Daimler Truck AG, IVECO, OMV, Shell and the Volvo Group committed to work together in H2Accelerate (H2A) to help create the conditions for the mass-market roll-out of hydrogen trucks in Europe.
The widespread introduction of hydrogen-powered trucks will take about a decade. The first step is ought to be taken by customers who are committed to this technology at an early stage and want to use corresponding trucks.
Initially, the trucks will operate in regional clusters and along European transport routes with high capacity utilization and good density of hydrogen filling stations. Over the course of the decade, these clusters can then be interconnected to create a Europe-wide network.
Public funding will be needed to establish hydrogen-powered trucks. Thus, in a first phase, those involved in H2Accelerate intend to jointly acquire funding for early pre-series projects. In parallel, they will work with policymakers and regulators.
In December 2021, the three leading commercial vehicle manufacturers Daimler Truck, TRATON GROUP and Volvo Group signed the contract to establish a joint venture for the construction and operation of a high-performance public charging network for battery-powered heavy-duty long-haul trucks and coaches in Europe. The joint aim is to initiate and significantly accelerate the development of a public charging infrastructure. The joint venture – Milence – will accelerate the ramp-up of its activities and, above all, the establishment of the charging network in order to be able to offer public charging stations for heavy commercial vehicles with a focus on reliability and good accessibility. Demand for battery electric trucks and coaches is expected to increase rapidly in the coming years. Milence strives for cross-industry collaboration so that charging solutions can be developed according to the needs of transport companies and drivers. The parties initially intend to invest EUR 500 million together in order to build at least 1,700 high-performance performance charging points close to highways as well as at logistic and destination points, within five years from the establishment of the joint venture. The charging points should be operated with green electricity. More information will be available during 2022.
Daimler Truck, the TRATON GROUP and the Volvo Group will own equal shares in the joint venture but continue to be competitors in all other areas.
Like in Europe, the lack of a publicly available, nationwide electric charging infrastructure for commercial vehicles in the US, especially for long-haul freight operations, remains one of the biggest barriers for widespread deployment of electric trucks. Daimler Truck North America LLC (DTNA), NextEra Energy Resources, LLC and BlackRock Renewable Power (BlackRock) have announced their intention to establish a joint venture to design, develop, install and operate a high-performance, nationwide U.S. charging network for medium- and heavy-duty battery electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. First charging stations are set to begin construction in 2023. Initial funding is expected to be comprised of approx. $ 650 million (approx. € 580 million) divided equally among the three parties.
In order to be able to assist truck customers with all manner of questions concerning planning, application and implementation processes concerning charging infrastructure, as well as with connection to the electrical network, Mercedes-Benz Trucks has entered into a strategic partnership with Siemens Smart Infrastructure and ENGIE. They fit in perfectly with the aspiration of Mercedes-Benz Trucks to provide fleet operators with more than just vehicle concepts when it comes to electromobility.
Daimler Trucks North America and Portland General Electric work together for a heavy-duty electric truck charging site, called “Electric Island.” Electric Island will help accelerate the development, testing and deployment of zero emissions (tank to wheel) commercial vehicles. The charging site offers eight vehicle charging stations for the charging of electric cars, buses, box vans and semi-trucks. The site can serve as an innovation center, allowing both PGE and DTNA to study energy management, charger use and performance, and, in the case of DTNA, its own vehicles’ charging performance.
In May 2022, Daimler Truck AG became a major anchor shareholder in German high-tech engineering company Manz AG through a capital increase of around ten percent. In addition, in a first step both companies have signed a cooperation agreement on a strategic partnership to establish a pilot line for the production of lithium-ion battery cells and for the assembly of batteries at Daimler Truck’s Mannheim site. Within the framework of this partnership, both companies will pool their expertise and develop further projects for their joint future. The aim is to develop innovative battery technology and associated production processes for trucks and buses.
As part of the partnership, Daimler Truck will set up its own pilot battery cell production facility called “InnoLab Battery” at the Mercedes-Benz plant in Mannheim, thus laying an important foundation for future competence in battery technology.
Daimler Truck AG and Gehring Technologies GmbH + Co. KG have signed an agreement in September 2022 on a strategic partnership focusing on building up expertise in process development and prototype construction of commercial vehicle specific electric motors. The strategic partnership with Gehring covers the prototypical construction of so-called "truck-e-fied" e-motors as well as the further development and testing of innovative production processes.
Gehring will also supply equipment for the technical center, which is being set up at the Gaggenau plant, Daimler Truck's competence center for electric drive components.